Recent changes in candidate genes for domestication in humans in Europe: focusing on language [article]

Antonio Benítez-Burraco, Evgeny Chekalin, Sergey Bruskin, Irina Morozova
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Human evolution resulted from changes in our biology, behavior, and culture. One source of these changes has been hypothesized to be our self-domestication (that is, the development in humans of features commonly found in domesticated strains of mammals, seemingly as a result of selection for reduced aggression). Signals of domestication, notably brain size reduction, have increased in recent times. In this paper we compare whole-genome data between Late Neolithic/Bronze Age individuals and
more » ... rn Europeans and show that some genes associated with self-domestication and with neural crest development and function in mammals are significantly differently enriched in nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms between these two groups. We discuss how these changes might account for the exacerbation of features linked to self-domestication and more generally, together with other factors like dietary or social changes, for subtle changes in human cognition and behavior, including language.
doi:10.1101/684621 fatcat:5zcaknssvvagdmlxtw3jpvaozy